December 10, 2022

The Baguio City Health Services Office reminded residents and visitors to keep themselves warm and well-protected against respiratory illnesses including Covid-19 as temperature in the city dipped to below 12 degrees Celsius.

City Health Officer Rowena Galpo said respiratory diseases caused by viruses and bacteria typically increase during the cold season, which is why people need to employ extra protection especially considering that the virus that causes the Covid-19 remains a threat.  

“We have to observe the usual precautions against respiratory diseases. Keep warm by bundling up in warm clothes, eat healthy, hydrate and exercise to develop strong immunity and seek medical attention when having symptoms especially the senior citizens and persons with health conditions,” Galpo said.

She said observing the minimum public health standards against Covid-19 also works against other viruses and bacteria.

“Wear your face masks, observe physical distancing, wash your hands, follow the cough and sneeze etiquette, ensure proper ventilation and avoid crowds, confined spaces and close contact conversations.”

City Epidemiologist Donnabel Panes said Covid-19 remains the dominant respiratory illness in the city dislodging flu and influenza-like diseases.

She said the risk of transmission of these illness increases in cold weather because people tend to stay indoors.

“To protect ourselves, vaccination continues to be the best weapon,” she said.

Apart from Covid-19, the CESU is on guard against the common respiratory illnesses like cough and colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma and influenza-like illness, an acute respiratory tract disease characterized by fever, headache, myalgia, prostration, coryza, sore throat and severe cough.

The viruses and bacteria causing these diseases are usually airborne easily spread in the crowd in enclosed spaces where they may persist for hours, particularly in cold weather and in low humidity atmosphere.

Pagasa Baguio said the city’s temperature began to plunge last Dec. 2 at 12 degrees Celcius and further dipped to 11.4 degrees Celcius on Dec. 5.

The cold weather is expected to persist in the next months because of the enhanced northeast monsoon. – Aileen P. Refuerzo